Rotterdam (NL), 22-25 May 2016
TOGETHER IN ROTTERDAM
“Alone – one goes faster. But TOGETHER we’ll go further.”
In spring 2016 EUROPEA members met in Rotterdam for yet another outstanding seminar; this time on the topic of FOOD AND THE CITY. Apart from getting involved in the very well-prepared, short but efficient General Assembly, we had the opportunity to visit innovative companies, listen to quality key note speeches and participate actively in interesting and provoking workshops.
Missing only colleagues from Malta, the EUROPEA family has outnumbered all expectations as 82 European participants were joined by 70 Dutch delegates for a two day quality time together.
A more detailed report follows:
Summarizing all that has been going on at the GA, one needs to underline the fine work that has been done by the Executive Committee over the course of the past few years.
Revision of the Statues is coming to its end very soon, EUROPEA is expanding with new members joining in every year while a number of countries are still queuing to get accepted. Editorial Group is doing a good job for the website and social media, projects and student competitions are running smoothly.
Besides, one of the most joyful news, perhaps, is that Germany has taken up the initiative and is doing its best to organise AGROLYMPICS in 2017. And as for the next meetings, after Slovakia, Malta and the UK, France will take over the role of the host from Bulgaria so the future looks very much ensured for EUROPEA.
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During the first day of the meeting the huge group of EUROPEAns paid a visit to two very special enterprises in the Westland region of the Netherlands:
Koppert Cress specializes in seedlings of exclusive plants that are used for preparing high quality meals with a collection of charming micro-vegetables and astonishingly flavoured eatable flowers for a unique and unforgettable food experience.
On the other hand, Demokwekerij Westland is an innovation centre of sophisticated climate control applying advanced science and technology within horticulture. The company has superb results in research, as well as demonstration and knowledge sharing pointing out the right direction towards the future of food production.
We ended the day in the amazing Rotterdam Markthal touring around this remarkable sight, shopping, chatting, relaxing and appreciating the wide variety and great assortment of different goods from all over the country and the world.
SEMINAR FOOD AND THE CITY
“How are we dealing with food, water and waste if in 2050 more than 50% of the world population lives in cities?”
On the second day EUROPEA Netherlands and InHolland University, Rotterdam, welcomed us with an impressive programme, which was hosted and moderated by the ever smiling Mr. Olaf van Kooten from the Wageningen University. The topic of the seminar was introduced by three excellent presentations:
“Food Region Rotterdam”
Mrs. Sharon Janmaat, City of Rotterdam
Mr. Tjerk Gorter, Qanbridge
“Sustainable urban delta”
Frans-Peter Dechering, Priva
Key note speeches were followed by a panel discussion with triggering questions and an excessive exchange of ideas about the most urging issues.
“What kind of experts do we need in the future? How and what to teach to train and prepare the next generations for all those challenges?”
While we were sharing our views in the amphitheatre an enthusiastic group of students of the Albeda College (a regional training centre for secondary vocational education) was preparing our lunch in the kitchen under the guidance of Pepijn Schmeink (Restaurant Dertien), one of the most innovative chefs in Rotterdam today.
“You cannot cook without knowing the effort a farmer puts in” Pepijn Schmeink
The ingredients used were local, strictly seasonal and sustainable focusing on vegetables and showcasing the new Dutch cuisine on beautifully arranged plates.
Afternoon workshops were led by prominent experts of the Dutch higher education. It gave us the chance again to get directly involved, reveal and share our thoughts and suggestions in the following topics and groups:
Wokshop no1 – “Biobased and Circular Economy” by Koen Dittrich (CAH Vilentum University)
Workshop no2 – “Healthy and Sustainable Food and Western Disease” by Esther Nederhof, (Van Hall Larenstein University)
Workshop no3 – “Responsive Education” by) Frank de Jong (Stoas University)
Workshop no4 – “New Business Models” by dr. Pieter Jelle Beers (HAS University)
The last evening we spent together in the splendid Euromast Restaurant high above Rotterdam with a fantastic view of the city by night. Once again we enjoyed the outstanding company, delightful flavours and excellent dishes.
End of the evening saw the traditional handover of the EUROPEA flag from our Dutch colleagues to the next host, Slovakia.
Great ending to a great meeting.
Many-many thanks to EUROPEA Netherlands for a truly wonderful time and let us meet again in Slovakia in the autumn.
For more photos click here 🙂